A Real Person’s Review of the BlackBerry Z10

My Z10

My Z10

As previously mentioned in a blog post about smartphones annoying me, I’m not interested in phone reviews by techie people because they just don’t mean that much to me. On that basis, I’ve decided to review my new BlackBerry Z10 in a way that I hope helps real people decide whether or not they want one. I’ve been using it a week or so now so I’m still learning but here are my initial thoughts; any comments and additions are greatly appreciated!

Aesthetics

This is one good looking phone. I’ve gone for the white option and I like it. When you open it up as well, the UI (user interface) feels much fresher and more modern than BB7 was. BlackBerry have brought their phones into the league of the competition with this handset in my opinion. The only thing is that like my previous BB and my Nokia before it, the screen scratches pretty easily which is a bit of a pain if you’re like me and hate covers and are clumsy!

Battery Life

This seems about normal for any touchscreen smartphone, I’m certainly not having to charge it any more than I was my previous BB and it seems to drain less power than my iPhone 4S does when it’s just sat idle.

Applications

OK, so the applications bit has me puzzled. Clearly I did not pick a BB because I am an app. fiend, that would have been a very stupid move. What I don’t get though is why some of the apps I enjoyed most on my BB7 aren’t available for BB10. For example:

O2 Priority Moments – WTF??? That’s pretty much all I can say on that. Why has it disappeared? Surely this is a critical app. for O2 customers???

FML – I LOVE FML. It brightens my day and whilst the iPhone app is easier to use than the BB7 app is, I had no issue with the BB7 app. What I have an issue with is the complete lack of app. for BB10.

Multi-Alarm Plus – everyone with a BB will know that they stubbornly refuse to allow you to set more than one alarm via the clock. I’ve had so many instances of accidentally hitting “off” rather than “snooze” that I always set 2 alarms. I used to have a great app on my Torch called Multi-Alarm Plus which fixed this perfectly and for free. BB10 has forced me into paying for a substandard app. that I am not loving so far.

Then there’s the Kindle app. It’s great that it’s available for BB10 and has solved my problem of taking too many books on holiday with me in a few weeks but why doesn’t it work the same as for other OS’? In the UK, the BB app. only lets you read what you have purchased online via a computer, you can’t actually purchase through the app. itself. Not a huge issue for someone who spends all day at a PC but still annoying. That said, I wouldn’t want to read a book on a tiny iPhone screen so you win some, you lose some!

Notifications

The red flashing light remains. One thing I hate about my iPhone is not knowing instantly by looking at it whether anything needs my attention. I also hate the way text messages show up on your screen, where’s the privacy??? I much prefer the subtle red light of my BB 🙂

I also love choosing what pops up and what doesn’t. I like that Twitter notifications, etc. just appear in my hub without the flashing light and they don’t flash up on my screen. I’m not sure if this is customisable on the iPhone but it sure is on the BB!

Predictive Words

Previously with the BB it would suggest words and you could tap them to use them if you wanted but now, it proactively corrects obvious mistakes and tailors its suggestions to your own writing style. This is amazing! Takes a while to get the flicking motion right but saves loads of time if you use quite a few long words as I have a tendency to do and day by day it’s getting more used to what and how I write so it has stopped correcting some of the words I often use that actually aren’t words. LOVE!

The Hub

So the Hub is the real driver behind BB10 and BB flow. Basically it means you can check all messages, notifications, etc. in one place by just swiping the screen so you don’t have to leave the app. you are in. At first I was a bit overwhelmed by all my Twitter, FB, texts, etc. in one place but you can also choose to filter it to e.g. just texts. I text a lot so being able to check texts without having to close whatever else I am doing is a winner.

I also didn’t really get the BB flow idea, in principle it seemed good but in practice it was a bit weird. After about 3 days though, I suddenly found my iPhone feeling clunky with its stupid button pushing to exit an app. This is a huge change from BB7 which made the iPhone feel slick. Good work BB, you’ve definitely overtaken the competition here and I am not somebody who acclimatises to technological change easily!

Switching OS

I’m not sure how easy it would be to switch your data from a non BB OS to BB10 but I’m sure they’ve thought of that and made it as easy as possible. For me moving from BB7 to BB10, it couldn’t have been easier. I literally downloaded the BB Link software onto my PC and it guided me through step-by-step of what to click and which device I needed connected. The next thing I knew, I had all my photos, contacts, music, etc. on my new phone. Even my calendar reminders…Fantastic!

Other Stuff

Techie reviews seem to bang on about the screen colours and cameras, etc. So…the screen is colourful as they are on all other smartphones. It has a camera, as do all other smartphones but this one allows me to correct my blinking eyes in photos and format the pictures without Instagram though! (But I never use Instagram anyway…so maybe more useful for you creative bods.)

Verdict

I’m very impressed with my Z10 and that comes from the point of view of someone who also uses an iPhone 4S daily. Most people I know who have the iPhone 5 say it’s almost the same as the 4S so I think it’s a reasonably fair comparison.

It’s easy to use and feels like a modern, well thought-out device with all of its components working well together. You may notice I haven’t tested it out for email and I haven’t mentioned the dual profile capability but this isn’t a work device and I don’t use it for email. Being a BB though, I’ve no doubt its email capabilities are brilliant – let’s face it, if everyone just used mobiles to send emails, we’d all have BBs because that’s where they excel.

Yes, it could be stronger in terms of apps but I tend to use FB and Twitter the most and they are obviously on there and following those, I’m usually just browsing and the browsing experience is lovely. The screen is a perfect size in my opinion and the device feels much less flimsy than the plasticy Samsungs whilst having a larger screen than the iPhones so for me, it’s an ideal match!

Why Smartphones Get My Goat

 

PhoneSmartphones are everywhere these days and I’d like to start off by saying that perhaps I have titled this post somewhat misleadingly as I don’t have a problem with smartphones per se, more with the people reviewing them.

For most of my life, mobile phones have been a hot topic of discussion, right from when changing the cover on your Nokia was the coolest thing ever until now when the ability to make your phone do things without even touching it seems to be the thing to have. But what exactly are we discussing? Back in the day it was all about making the phone look good and whether you flipped it open, swivelled it open or had Snake 2 on it…not exactly crucial things when making a phone call or sending a text message.

Then we became obsessed with cameras and colour screens, it was all about how many megapixels we had and whether there was a flash. Mainly the cameras were so rubbish we continued to use actual cameras though and again, not so key to the process of making and receiving phone calls!

Nowadays phones really are portable computers and there are so many acronyms banded around that a normal human being can’t possibly know what on earth they are buying so we still often circle back to our original criteria of how it looks. So what have the manufacturers done… made them all look the same and all come in the same 2 boring colours. It’s like they want to force us to look beyond the casing and into the chip inside, except most of us don’t know how.

Even when people explain what the phones can do, most of us still have no idea how to actually do it. Some features sound plain annoying; do I really want my YouTube video to pause if I look away from the screen? Hell no! I look away because I’m bored of watching and only want to listen, the last thing I want is for it to wait for my gnat-like attention span to circle back to it! Do I want a pedometer or a sleep monitor or a screen that is so good it’s beyond what my eyes can see? No I bloody don’t! If I wanted those things then I’d shop for them in the form of a pedometer or a sleep monitor or a TV!!!

What I want is a phone that works and is easy to use and shows me what I want, when I want it, how I want it and makes my life easy. A phone that recognises that I use the word “awesome” all the time so it throws it up on the screen when I start typing “aw”. Yeah, some showy –offy gadgets are cool, like being able to fix my photos so my eyes are open instead of blinking in every shot but mainly, I just want something that I understand and that understands me.

You might think I’m mad but BB10, I’m looking at you kid! The Z10 is a good-looking phone and if you do understand all the acronyms and browsing speeds, etc. you’ll know that it outperforms many of its rivals (yes I mean the iPhone) in lots of ways. If however, you’re like me and just want a phone that’s easy to use and works then it’s ideal. It hides all the techy jargon and just makes life simple – everything you need in one place, with a swipe of the thumb. Perfect for lazy old me with the zero attention span! Oh, and I can have my blog as an app on my BB. And I can message, voice chat or video chat with my friends around the world for FREE. These are the things I want to know about when buying a phone!

In case you think this is written with bias, I will ‘fess up that I did work for BB briefly, not even for a year and I was in HR, nothing product related. Does that make me automatically love their products? No. Did they give me my first BB, a Bold 9900 on my first day which was the best phone I’d ever had, yes. So I love the Z10 because it’s a great phone, not because I used to work for them. I am in no way affiliated with the company, my previous role there just opened my eyes to a brand I’d never considered before.

Let me know what you think about the phones out there at the moment; I’m due an upgrade and I want to get it right! x

Is this Really the Reward for Loyalty???

Since my very first mobile phone back in the day, I’ve been loyal to Nokia and I’ve been through the following phones (note, not that many for 10 years’ of phones as they are so durable):

3310 – Snake 2 was on that, amazing!

8310 – So small, 100 message in my inbox and a blue screen!

7260 – I had it in white, a colour screen, camera and the design was a bit “S” shaped – especially for all Samantha’s!

7373 – It was pink and swivelled – need I say more???

6500 – Mine was a “Classic”, i.e., small, flat, black and partially metal – it was a dream and lasted forever. I even kept a hold of it when the iPhone turned up

Approximately a year ago, I decided it was time to upgrade to the times we live in and invest in a proper smart phone. I hunted high and low for something that not only had the functionality but looked good too. The iPhone was too popular for my liking and I was way behind trend on that one and other phones just didn’t look good enough. The only phone I was really toying with was the Nokia N8 but that was just too big for my liking. Then the lovely man in the Nokia shop showed me the new C7, only just released and I fell in love with the simple yet quirky styling that all of my Nokias have provided me with. Here it is:

The phone promised to be all-singing, all-dancing and just as good as any other smart phone. Sadly, this little Nokia has let me down in every other way apart from the screen not smashing when I look at it (iPhone crap!). Check out the problems I’ve had:

  • Call logs – the phone liked to delete all call logs every other day, no matter what settings it had
  • Predictive text – not saving new words and writing very slowly
  • Slow browsing- oh so slow I had to use the bf’s iPhone when out and about

These problems were despite sending the phone back a couple of times for factory updates, etc. Still, however, I persevered and trusted that they were just teething problems. It got worse.

Last month, my phone told me it needed a big update and that I should do it via a PC so I dutifully plugged in to Ovi Suite on my laptop and spent ages updating the laptop software before moving onto the phone. Halfway through the backup, the process crashed my phone. That was it, it stole all of my data; just ate it up and left me with a phone that wouldn’t even switch on. All because of something evil I’m told is called Symbian – didn’t want it anyway! My phone was sent away again 😦

Finally, the phone comes back and is all working, even though the look of the user interface has changed to something hideous! Now, however my browsing is much quicker and everything works! Yay! It’s only been a year! So why am I still unhappy? Because I’m still so far behind everyone else…

What I wanted to use my smart phone for was tracking my eBay items – there’s no eBay app…STILL! Geez! So I have reconciled myself with that horrible fact and just used what I do have on there. However, what sparked this little rant is that the other day I was reading the Boots Health & Beauty magazine and it had one of those barcode scan things in it for Treat Street. I’ve never used one of those before, even though I had the scanner app downloaded. Off I went…scan! Hmmm…nothing…scan again…still nothing. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, I’ll just use the browser to navigate to the page. What do I find…?

“Please select – iPhone or Android” – ARGHHHHHHHHHH! Bloody Nokia!

So my question is this…Nokia, how did you get it so wrong and when are you going to fix it? When my upgrade is due in May, you’ll have lost yet another loyal customer and I hate change so you must have really pi$$ed me off! x

I want to ride my bicycle…

Super quick post, I just have to share this with the world…I exercised again today! Go me, I am so proud!

The bf and I went for a bike ride in the woods which I’d like to say went swimmingly but in all honesty I was a bit grumpy to start with. This was my second time riding in about the last 8 years and the woods was difficult, too many trees with their stupid roots making it all really tough! So I moaned and grumbled until we came out of the woods and down a road. So glad we did, the road was a steep hill so we whizzed down it, I felt a bit like a dog with its head out of the car window with the wind sailing past my ears. We saw Mapledurham House to our right and then cycled back along The Warren admiring all of the posh riverside properties. Lovely! In total we descended and then ascended about 1000ft and rode / walked a bit for 5miles according to the iPhone app he used! I am so super proud I just had to share it!

That is all 🙂

PS Having written my previous post, I decided to set up a separate blog for my candida diet journey, this can be found here so check it out: Candida Free